Planning a trip isn’t always easy. Thankfully, in this startup world so many creative companies are launching the kinds of apps meant to make exploring the world easier — whether it’s with a program that helps you pack for a trip or a guide that shows you the best a destination has to offer. Here are seven apps that are making traveling better.
For a bit of everything: Gogobot
Reviews sites can be tricky as you never really know if the people writing the reviews (and driving ratings) are the kind of people you can trust. After all, what accounts for taste? The great thing about Gogobot is that you can filter ratings and reviews based on tribes. You might prefer to know what those in the Art & Design tribe — rather than say, Nightlife Lovers — have to say about which sites to visit in New York. Or perhaps you might relate to the Foodies and not the Backpackers when it comes to making next week’s dinner reservations. This filtering functionality can sharpen your search for a great restaurant or bar in an unknown destination. Plus, Gogobot’s editors curate a weekly events calendar with the coolest local happenings so you don’t have to waste time searching for them.
For the urban explorer: Field Trip
This elevated map app from Google’s Niantic Labs can be set up to notify you (by way of pop-up cards) of points of interest whenever you’re near one. The frequency of notification can be adjusted based on your preference, but these cards provide short blurbs describing the site, cafe, park, etc. that you should probably be visiting. The cards are aggregated from hundreds of publishers, from Sunset Magazine to Historical Marker Database. So while Zagat can help you find the best place to pick up a burger in New York City, the Historical Market Database within Field Trip might be able to give you an unknown factoid regarding the building you’re admiring in the West Village.
For the style aficionado: With love from Kat
Popular fashion and lifestyle blogger Kat Tanita, who splits her time between New York and Paris, launched a travel app sidekick to her website that captures the same easy-to-relate-to voice that has made With Love from Kat such a hit. Her musings on the most stylish restaurants, spas, shops and bars in some of the world’s most fabulous destinations — whether it’s the high-fashion streets of Paris or the beaches of St. Barts — help travelers access these destinations through her keen fashion-forward eyes. The Shop section not only allows users to shop the outfits Kat sports on her travels but also helps them find the best jetsetting essentials.
Take me to New York
For the multi-destination traveler: Converter Plus
This easy-to-use converter’s bottomless inventory of units (from temperature and currency — 167 countries are included — to size and distance) makes traveling through multiple destinations especially easy. Converter Plus also has a face-saving tip calculator that’s always going to come in handy if you’d rather not do the math in your head.
For the weather obsessor: Sunshine App
Sunshine App is a great trip planning companion so that you’ll always be up-to-date on exactly what’s going on outside. The notifications are personalized, too, so the app can make suggestions on how you might want to dress for the day. For example, on an unseasonably warm day, the app might notify you to leave your jacket at home. Round-the-clock reminders are available, with notifications like, Rain will start in about an hour, so you’ll know when it’s time to leave the beach and head back to the villa. Similarly, other users can use the app to report on the weather if something unexpected happens, such as a rainstorm from nowhere — scratch your shopping plans and go to a museum instead!
For the over-packer: Packing Pro
For those of us who struggle with what to pack on our travels, this app doesn’t just provide you with a platform to create a list but it can even show you sample lists based on the kind of trip you’re planning on taking. Is it a business trip? Are you going camping? Is the whole family going? There’s a pre-made list for that. Packing Pro also has a Packing List Assistant who can create a list for you based on the details of your excursion (how many people are going, temperature of the destination, length of trip, and more) — essentially ensuring you never pack improperly again. Plus, in the event that your luggage might be lost, it always helps to have a list of what’s in it when it’s time to get reimbursed by the airline.
For the cool kid: Indie Guides
This Paris-based startup doesn’t want to tell you about every single thing to do in the cities in which its team launched a guide. In fact, the curated list of 50 under-the-radar addresses focuses on alternative sites that rarely make the mainstream guidebooks. Cities covered in Indie Guides are some of the world’s hippest — Brooklyn, Paris, Athens, and Lisbon, with more to come — and the guides were written by local insiders who know all about the latest speakeasy bars and the cutting-edge galleries.
Take me to Paris